Backpacking through Europe; Prague

Technically my third stop.. But, since I started in Amsterdam (although I lived there) followed by Berlin, Prague was the third European city within the same week. I had very little time in Prague, but I managed to see most of it in 24h. The city is full of gorgeous historical buildings and the legendary Czech brews. A beer was the perfect cure to a misty Prague…

Prague rooftops in a misty morning
Prague’s old parts make up an idyllic scenery. It’s hard not to appreciate the city.

Where to stay in Prague

I ended up staying in the old town, which is a bit pricier. But, since I only had 24h in the city I didn’t wanna spend it on a tram or metro. Besides, it wasn’t crazy expensive, I stayed at a hostel called Homer (as in the Simpsons), the location was superb! I paid a small sum of 14 euros a night! I had basically all of Prague a walking distance away.

Food in Prague

Like many places in central/eastern Europe the typical cuisine is quite similar. Anywhere you looked they were selling ‘chimney cakes’ and other local sweets, I certainly felt a sweet-tooth coming along.

The Czechs have incredible beers and these are best consumed at a small local brewery! The dinners were mostly consisting of potatoes and a sort of meat, like a Viennese schnitzel or other delicious variants. Goulash is also something the Czechs eat and they make it superb or a more local ‘soup’ is the garlic soup. One particular restaurant does this better than anyone else, the U parlament. Perfect for a great and authentic Prague experience.

In Prague they are atoned to the ever-growing vegetarian food trends too and I saw several vegetarian options, but I tried Forky’s. This place had the best vegan milkshakes I’ve ever tried! The rest of the food was really good too and there was a nice healthy vibe. I would say this more of a lunch option than anything else.

A pint of beer on a wooden table.
Mmmm.. Czech beer is one of my favourites!

What to do in Prague

You will have to see the old astronomical clock, but you won’t miss it! It is beautiful and so is the surrounding square, here you can see many different types of architectural styles. Then there is the chain bridge, and all of these are spectacular parts of Prague.

Jewish Quarters

I went on a guided tour through the Jewish Quarters, and I was a bit disappointed. All the buildings from the ghetto were long gone and replaced with the second most expensive street in all of Prague. There are few (or none) signs of what the area once was. A jewish museum founded Hitler, he converted an old jewish school into a museum meant to show the ‘extinct race’ and showcase the fact that they did exist.

There are many Synagogues still in this area, and these are the only building still remaining after the Ghetto, one is the oldest still operating synagogue in the world. One of these synagogues has a cemetery you can visit. This synagogue also has an adjoining museum with probably one of the most horrible permanent exhibitions I could imagine there is. These are left over drawings from children who were murdered in the Nazi-concentration camps. The images depicts life in a concentration camp through the eyes of young children. These images survived time and the nazis since they where often left in the luggage and other belongings kept by the Nazis.

The Communist Museum

This was a fantastic museum to visit as it depicted the Czech history starting with the Nazi occupation and finishing in the fall of the USSR. The museum shows what happened and how the Czech people endured this dictatorship. I really think this museum is worth a visit, it gives a great insight to how life in the Czech communist state was.

The entry to the communist museum  in Prague, a Marx statue and the red star
The entry to the communist museum

My Prague

The rainy and cold city remained charming despite the weather. I love how it was so walkable and I could get around everywhere by foot. With that said, I only crossed the river and didn’t move too far outside the old town.

Arriving at the hostel you notice many people were there to drink beer, but there wasn’t a rowdy crowd at the hostel. The same goes for many of the tourists in town, coming from Amsterdam and Berlin, you notice a difference. There was an increase in both seniors and middle aged people with their families. However, there was many solo travellers making their way through Prague, its a gorgeous city and its nearby or on the way to many other places in Europe.

I spend most of my time walking all throughout the city, looking at all the buildings. I walked aimlessly in the cold, but I didn’t mind. You could tell the Czechs are used to us tourists and they have in many ways accommodated us, so it’s easy to get around without any major issues.

The only really horrible thing I experience was catching my bus to Vienna. I took the bus from the Prague main station and there was NO signs to the buses and on my flixbus ticket it said ‘platform 4’, that didn’t help until I found the actual place. There was no signs directing to platform 4 anywhere in the station.. But, I won’t this reflect my time in Prague too much.

Would you like to know more about my other visits in my Euro-backpacking? You can find all my posts here.

Selfie of a girl in a thick pullover.
Me in a COLD Prague!

Backpacking through Europe; Vienna

Beautiful Vienna was the third stop on my trip, after Prague and Berlin. It was my first time in Vienna and I was excited to see it. Particularly since it was named (second year in a row) as the most liveable city in the world by the Economist. Needless to say expectations where high.

Scooter driving down a street in Vienna, in the background you see the Stephans Dom, the monument of Vienna.
One of Viennas stunning streets with there enormous houses, in the back you can see the gothic ‘Stephans Dom’.

Where to stay in Vienna

Vienna is divided in to districts, district 1 is all of the centre, containing all the biggest sights. I was lucky enough to stay here, because I was staying at my friends gorgeous apartment. I was a 5 minute walk from Stephans platz where the incredible Stephans Dom is.

It’s a bit pricier in district 1, 2 and 3 but Vienna has incredible public transport. Both, U-bahn and S-bahn run across the city but there are also many tram lines across the city so getting anywhere is quick and cheap. So if you wanna save money on accomodation staying a bit in the outer districts is really no problem.

Must see in Vienna

Stephans Dom

As churches goes, the Stephans Dom is absolutely magnificent. It is massive and the roof is something else, it depicts the typical two headed Hapsburg eagle. The Hapsburgs are present throughout the city and they have made their impression on Vienna. The Hapsburg castle and their ‘guesthouse’ are witness to their royal wealth. The Dom is in the very centre of Vienna and its hard to miss, I suggest you have a walk around it and also visit the inside, you won’t regret it!

Museums in Vienna

The Albertina

This is an art museum in the old Hapsburg guest house. The art you can fins at the Albertina are giants like Picasso and Monet. There is for sure a more contemporary feel to the museum rather than classic. But it does have the old Hapsburg rooms left and walking through there you feel the old historical feels.

The World Musum

I loved this museum! It was massive and it contained the personal collection of arch duke Franz Ferdinand. The name the world museum is truly justified as it has something from everywhere.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Art History)

This museum probably have more remains from the Roman Empire than Rome does. I found it really fascinating to see all the Mediterranean left overs. This museum had a huge downside, there was no signs in english. That has never happened to me before, and this museum is huge… So you better practice your German before you visit this museum.

Karls Kirche or Charles Church

This church is built on Roman ruins. That has given the church a unique look with the incredible peelers. I haven’t seen anything like that on a church before… You should pop in have a a look inside and up in the big dome of the church. If you are here you might as well walk a short block away and see the soviet liberation monument, a must see and you should look into Viennas special after war history.

Karls Kirche or Charles church, reflected in the fountain infront of the church
The Gorgeous Karls Kirche

The Vienna Wineyards

Vienna is in a valley and the mountains surrounding the city is full of wine yards. These are owned by the catholic church but they have leased them to local farmers (lucky farmers!). When the season is right you need to visit here and try some delicious Vienna wine out. A good reason to get some nature on a city trip.

Eating and dinking in Vienna

There are many restaurants in Vienna and bars. Something you have to try is the Vienna pastries and chocolate.. They love their sweets and they are great at it, so have a little break in a café and try some of the local stuff out.

Vienna is a bit pricier.. And something to keep in mind is that almost everything is closed on Sundays. But some restaurants I recommend are Disco Volante, a great Pizza place, which is SO good. It doesn’t matter what time of the day Ulrich has something to offer., brunch, lunch or dinner! It has everything. Finally it’s worth mentioning Kleines café a fabtastic place to enjoy a beer after a long day of tourism.

A small street in vienna.
One of Viennas many amazing streets.

My Vienna take away

I don’t think I could live in Vienna, even though its fantastic… But, it’s not a city for me! With that said I will definitely return and spend some more days here. All the architecture is wow and the city has a cool history. You feel safe walking around by yourself at any time a day. But I think the city is a bit too ‘grown up’ for my flavour…!

Backpacking through Europe: Berlin

The first stop on my EuroTrip was Berlin. I have never before done backpacking in Berlin, I have only visited as a main destination. This time around I paid more attention to the prices of things. I have always considered Berlin being a cheap city, but in my Europe Route Berlin is one of the more pricey destinations. My wallet thanks me for leaving.

Backpacking in Berlin – Where to stay

My first issue was picking a hostel, particularly since Berlin is hub for party-travellers-and-backpackers. I picked St. Christophers Inn, a little north of Alexander Platz, right by the Mitte-Prenzlauerberg border. Now this neighbourhood is great because its safe, central and up in Prenzlauerberg there are many lovely café, I had to work and study heaps so for me it was a no brainer to go pick this area. With that said, there was a party going on every night at my hostel and the booze was SO cheap. People came and went from the room all night and most slept late in the day. But, it was all good. Berlin is one of Europes Party capitals, considering that my hostel parties were meek. Most people appreciated the bars sport niché showing football and rugby, which frankly isn’t up my alley, but, people loved the place.

Generally, you always have good bars with cheap booze at the Berlin hostels. People are there to enjoy themselves and while I never been a backpacker I have stayed at these hostels ‘private rooms’. Germany has such a good standard of cleanliness in their hostels, our private room and bathroom got cleaned daily, and it was always sparkling clean.

The Berlin Boroughs

If you are considering where to stay in Berlin there are a few areas you need to consider. Pranzlauerberg and Mitte are typically more quiet but still very central. From here it’s easy to get anywhere in the city. Kreuzberg is great, lots of bars and clubs, it’s at the centre of the nightlife, here you have some great neighbourhoods and some very dodgy ones. Most of the remaining anarchist communities resides here. I would also dare to say ‘you stay here in x-berg if you wanna party’.

Friedrichhein is huge, but it has som lovely neighbourhoods with good bars and nightlife. It’s a bit more off than x-berg and you can end off really on the outskirt of Berlin here. Those old soviet union parts are not funny nor pretty. Neukölln is also a great option, it’s central and easy to get to and from. Lots of bars and nightlife here too and it is becoming more and more trendy. This area has typically been at the heart of the huge Turkish community (and it still is) that means you have great food options here.

The Berlin TV-Tower only the top visible in Black and white.
This is the famous TV-tower, did you know they have a TV-tower in the West too? It is tiny and looks like the Eiffel-tower.

Eating in Berlin

Berlin has so much food to offer other than Curry Würst and Döner. The Vietnamese food is delicious and they have so many good Vietnamese restaurants in Berlin and most of them are very cheap. I tried a new restaurant out called ‘Paoblo Pinkel‘ a super fun concept, and easy to share kind of food. It’s also a bar with a great selection of cocktails. I recommend going here if you are gearing up for a night out on the town (the bar is in Neukölln, on the more Northern side towards Kreuzberg-perfect party location)

Things to see in Berlin

I have previously written extensively about Berlin, since I can pride myself with the title Berliner (or maybe ex-Berliner). I have been to most, if not all museums in the city. This is actually not an exaggeration, I have been here on 3 school trips so I really have seen it all. Then living here, I saw even more. If you are looking for som more local tips on what to eat and where to go you can find that post here.

My instagram – here you can follow my travels

How travel changes your life

Dead tree in Nordfjord
Arches with light shining through them in a Mediterranean setting
There is much to discover while travelling.

Have you travelled a lot?

During recent years the travel industry has exploded into hysteria and travelling seems to be on everybody’s lips. There is much content about travelling online and there are even people opting for a vagabond life style, recording their journeys on social media. With that said, this does not apply to everyone. Some people have never had the opportunity to travel and who may wonder how amazing is travelling really? There are many ways how travel changes your life.

For me, the answer is simple I believe that travelling changes your life and it challenges you to become a better person. So, it doesn’t matter if you are an avid traveller or if you are new to the practice, you can still make sure that travelling does really change your life. A great way to getting started if you are new to travels. I recommend the lonely planet, particularly this book, the Travel Book, has lots to say about how to become a traveller.

Travels; A cultural exchange

First and formost, travelling is a cultural exchange. What I mean by that is that where ever you go you are faced with a new and foreign culture. Even if you travel to your neighbouring country, they will have different practices than those you are used too. These cultural exchanges can give you a new and sometimes better way of doing something. For example, when I moved to Amsterdam I started biking and now I can’t imagine taking a bus or a car. This cultural exchange has influenced how I live my life and I am better because of it.

A road to how travel changes your life…

A road in-between to oceans in Spain. Leading towards a city in the far
Travelling down the road. Travels can take you down many roads.

Learn something about yourself

For many, travelling is a way of finding yourself. This may sound cliché but travels really can teach us about ourselves. Particularly if you are travelling on your own. Travels forces you into, sometimes, uncomfortable situations. At home, you have a network of friends and family to rely on, but out in the world you are all alone. This forces you to think for yourself, act by only considering yourself. You learn to trust your instincts and you gather more confidence. This is how travel changes your life, you can never undo what you learn about yourself. Travels will make you grow as a person and maybe even face your most inner fears. Many travellers are vary at first, but this will inevitable grow into a confidence after some time on the road.

Aquire New Tastes

Another way how travel changes your life is how you face new flavours. The best example of this is of course the cuisine of the place you are visiting. At some point in your life you’ve probably eaten pizza, but this is not Italian pizza. But there is so much more, have you had proper tapas or have you eaten authentic Ethiopian food? These are probably all new flavours which you can add to your palette after your travels. Perhaps you may discover a liking to a new style of music, or the Louvre museum showed you the beauty of art. There is much we do not encounter in are safe home setting, mostly out of convenience. Coming back from travels you have the opportunity to rediscover your home town.

Ethiopian food, a mixed platter for four persons
This is a sharing plate of Ethiopian food, one of my personal favourites.

How travel changes your life

As you have seen there are many ways of how travel changes your life. The most important part of how travel changes your life is that it gets you out in the world. You will see things you never could have imagined. You will meet people, make friends and also realise the value of your friends back home. There are so much to learn out there but the first part you will learn about is yourself. I have learnt so much by my travels, I have forced myself working through difficult and sometimes scary situations. I have made friends for life and I have learnt I can be outgoing and talk to anyone and everyone. If you like to know more about me and my journey you can start by reading this. But I can promise you one thing, it will change your life.